As we continue the females in the eighties today, today an American singer, songwriter, who's nominally started out as part of a band but whose personality clearly alowed the men around her only play second fiddle, hence over the years she must have used at least a dozen different 'backing' line ups. Charismatic they say, sounds rather eufemistic to me. Well it's about the music here and at the beginning there was plenty .....N'Joy
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Led by the charismatic Martha Davis, the Motels were one of the most successful and acclaimed bands to emerge from the fertile Los Angeles new wave scene, reaching the Top Ten in 1982 with their biggest hit, "Only the Lonely." Davis formed the group in 1972 while living in Berkeley, California, recruiting guitarist Dean Chamberlain and bassist Richard d'Andrea; originally dubbed the Warfield Foxes, they became the Motels upon relocating to L.A., but despite interest from a number of record labels, the group suffered through endless lineup changes, finally disbanding in 1976.
In March 1978, Davis and lead guitarist Jeff Jourard (formerly of a pre-fame version of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) decided to reform The Motels. Extensive auditions resulted in a new line-up of the band being formed, consisting of Jourard's brother Marty, who played both the saxophone and keyboards, Michael Goodroe on bass, and Brian Glascock on drums. Short on funds, the band shared rehearsal space with The Go-Go's at L.A.'s notorious punk basement, The Masque, and they played in Chinatown, at Madame Wong's restaurant/nightclub with such regularity that they were almost considered the house band. The Motels began to draw faithful crowds around the L.A. music scene and on Mother's Day 1979 the group signed with Capitol Records, releasing their debut album The Motels four months later. Their first single, "Closets and Bullets", made no impact on the charts, but their second single release, "Total Control", found its way to the Top 20 in France and the Top 10 in Australia.
The band hired record producer Val Garay for their third album, Apocalypso. It was scheduled to be released in November 1981, but after Capitol Records heard the final product, they rejected it for being "not commercial enough" and "too weird". The band attempted to go back and re-record the entire album but in the process, Davis and McGovern's relationship dissolved and by December 1981 McGovern was no longer in the band (McGovern subsequently formed the band Burning Sensations). The rest of the band members forged on to finish recording the new album, utilizing studio musicians to fill in for McGovern on several of the tracks. The album was released on April 5, 1982 under the title All Four One.
The first single from All Four One was "Only the Lonely", which reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 6 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart. The song "Mission of Mercy" also received enough airplay to reach No. 23 on the Top Tracks chart. The release of All Four One, the band's first successful U.S. album, coincided with the emergence of MTV, which led to music videos being created for both "Only the Lonely" and "Take the L". Davis won an award in the Best Performance in a Music Video category at the American Music Awards in 1982 for her performance in the "Only the Lonely" video. During 1982, the band added keyboardist/guitarist Scott Thurston formerly of Iggy and The Stooges to their touring line-up.
Producer Val Garay was now firmly in control of album and video production for the band and had also become their new manager, following the band's decision to dispense with their previous management company, Fritz Turner Management. In January 1983 The Motels appeared on Saturday Night Live. The band returned to the recording studio in February 1983 and released the album Little Robbers later that same year. The first single from the album, "Suddenly Last Summer", was a Top 10 hit in the United States, with the album eventually going gold in America, Canada, and a number of other countries. The first leg of the Little Robbers tour started in January 1984 but ended abruptly in February with the firing of Garay as manager for personal reasons. Drummer Platshon was dropped and Glascock resumed his spot on the drum chair.
In late 1984, Capitol Records brought in producer Richie Zito, in an attempt to maintain the band's commercialism. After more than a year of recording, the group finally released their fifth album, Shock, in September 1985. The first single from the album was "Shame", which reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. From early 1986 to February 1987 The Motels worked on songs for a planned sixth album. However, on February 13, 1987, Martha Davis took each member of the band in turn to a local bar to notify them that she had decided to dissolve the band and go solo.
Davis released her first solo album entitled Policy in November 1987. Musicians who worked with her included Clarence Clemons, Kenny G and Charlie Sexton. In November, she had a No. 8 hit in Australia with "Don't Tell Me the Time", but in the U.S. the song only reached No. 80. the album's critical reception was lukewarm, with many reviewers praising Davis' voice but noting that the album sounded lightweight and lacking atmospheric punch. Soon afterwards, Davis asked to be released from her contract with Capitol Records.
In 1997, Martha Davis began appearing live with a band members of the Motels that kept on changing in the years that followed. As of 2006 the Motel's occupants included Davis on vocal and guitar, Nick Johns (bass/keyboard), Eric Gardner (drums), Clint Walsh (guitar), and Jon Siebels (guitar). In 2005 Davis and the new Motels released an independent CD titled So the Story Goes which sold out. Sony Records also released a live album titled Standing Room Only, which was recorded live in 2006 at the famed Coach House Club in San Juan Capistrano. The Motels featuring Martha Davis also appeared on the U.S. version of Hit Me, Baby, One More Time and toured the U.S. and Australia in 2007.
The album Clean Modern and Reasonable, issued in September 2007, was the first release under the banner "The Motels" in 22 years. The album contains acoustic versions of past hits, B-sides and Davis solo material, including new recordings of "Take The L", "Only the Lonely", and "Suddenly Last Summer". In April 2008 Martha Davis/The Motels released two new albums on the same day; The Motels' new studio album This and the Martha Davis solo project Beautiful Life. The solo album was billed as a darkly autobiographical journey through Davis' life. The lost album Apocalypso would finally see release in 2011, thanks to the archival label Omnivore.
At the end of 2012, Martha Davis and The Motels opened for The Go-Go's at the Hollywood Bowl, their first performance at this venue. This was the beginning of a rise in the band's popularity and success. Davis began the year 2013, on January 25, performing at the NAMM convention in their “Living Legends” special concert series on their Main Stage. During the 2013 tour the band was listed in flyers and websites as "Martha Davis and the Motels, latest occupants of The Martha Davis Motel are Nick Johns (bass/keyboard), Eric Gardner (drums), Clint Walsh (guitar), and Brady Wills (bass).
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1979's self-titled debut release from the California band the Motels comes across as what a less pretentious Doors might have sounded like had they emerged during the new wave era. The Motels is a fairly cold, almost robotic affair which trades in lyrics that explore the darker side of life in Los Angeles. There are a few tracks that bear repeated listens like the frantic "Kix" and "Celia," a warning to a woman involved with the wrong guy. "Total Control," a big hit for the band in Australia and later covered by Tina Turner, is the album's standout with its menacing lyrics of possession delivered by Martha Davis. Although she tends to over-sing at times, Davis is a riveting and sensual vocalist and her vocals hint at the potential in the band. With their second release, the Motels make steps toward a more seamless style of new wave-inflected pop. Careful kicks off with the perky, sax-driven "Danger," and there are more hits than misses. The lyrics still lean toward the darker side as on the moody, watercolor melody of the title track, but there are also moments that are pop gems like the Europop-styled "Bonjour Baby," the midtempo rock of "Days Are O.K. (But the Nights Were Made for Love), which features the album's catchiest hook, and the uptempo "Cry Baby." Martha Davis, with her distinctive vocals, is still the band's trump card, but this time around the band gives her a little more backing.
The Motels - I + Careful (flac 459mb)
01 Anticipating 3:50
02 Kix 2:13
03 Total Control 5:51
04 Love Don't Help 1:56
05 Closets & Bullets 4:20
06 Atomic Café 2:46
07 Celia 3:04
08 Porn Reggae 4:17
09 Dressing Up 5:02
10 Counting 4:30
11 Danger 3:22
12 Envy 3:23
13 Careful 3:26
14 Bonjour Baby 3:36
15 Party Professionals 3:13
16 Days Are O.K. 3:30
17 Cry Baby 3:24
18 Whose Problem? 3:47
19 People, Places And Things 2:42
20 Slow Town 4:14
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The Motels' third album All 4 One finds the group working the fine line between mainstream arena-rock and quirky new wave pop. Their roots lie in the sleek, polished Californian hard rock that dominated late-'70s and early-'80s album-oriented radio, but All Four One has a shiny new wave production, complete with keyboards and processed guitars. Still, it plays like arena rock, especially since Martha Davis oversings each track, but its best moments -- "Take the L" (out of lover and it's over) and the single "Only the Lonely" -- are embarrassingly catchy guilty pleasures that make the album an entertaining nostalgia piece.
The Motels - All Four One (flac 340mb)
01 Mission Of Mercy 3:02
02 Take The L 3:42
03 Only The Lonely 3:16
04 Art Fails 3:12
05 Change My Mind 3:21
06 So L.A. 3:26
07 Tragic Surf 3:32
08 Apocalypso 3:31
09 He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss) 2:28
10 Forever Mine 3:22
11 So L. A. (Apocalypso Version) 3:34
12 Schneekin (Apocalypso Version) 4:10
13 Mission Of Mercy (Apocalypso Version) 3:36
14 Who Could Resist That Face (Apocalypso Version) 4:11
15 Only The Lonelly (Live) 3:19
Little Robbers, the follow-up to the Motels' commercial breakthrough All 4 One, is nearly as consistent as its predecessor, finding the perfect balance between mainstream rock conventions and quirky new wave flourishes. Again, the singles are the best parts of the record, with the hazy "Suddenly Last Summer" deservedly reaching the Top Ten and "Remember the Nights" being a fine AOR workout, but the remainder of the album suffers from undistinguished material and a distinct lack of hooks.
The Motels - Little Robbers (flac 263mb)
01 Where Do We Go From Here (Nothing Sacred) 3:35
02 Suddenly Last Summer 3:40
03 Isle Of You 4:03
04 Trust Me 3:07
05 Monday Shutdown 3:40
06 Remember The Nights 3:10
07 Little Robbers 4:00
08 Into The Heartland 3:27
09 Tables Turned 3:33
10 Footsteps 3:40
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